Toddler’s Cove/Rheims Way Underpass Project

A splash of colour has further transformed the link between Canterbury’s Westgate Gardens and Toddler’s Cove thanks to the second phase of Canterbury City Council’s ‘Parks for People’ Heritage Lottery project.

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The dark and dreary stanchions in the Toddler’s Cove and Rheims Way Underpass now not only have lights but a bright new image thanks to the joint mural project between Kent County Council , Canterbury City Council and the Friends of Westgate Parks.
The stunning wildflower and river reflection designs on the stanchions were the brainchild of local artist Colette Baumback who was onsite throughout the week. The fish designs on the inside of the stanchions will contain environmental promises to the park made by local school groups taking part in the ‘Wild About Westgate’ outdoor learning programme.

Work on the stanchions in the Underpass project began on Thursday October 13th and was completed by Wednesday October 19th after many hours of enthusiastic input from the Friends of Westgate Parks volunteer team and members of the community.
The new designs have attracted much praise from people passing between the gardens and the play area at Toddler’s Cove. Comments from passers-by include: ‘It makes the place more happy, less scary,’ ‘Brilliant makes such a difference to a gloomy underpass’ and ‘Lovely to inspire and bring something back to the community, great job.’

The underpass was identified as a key area for improvement following public consultation as part of the bid for the Heritage Lottery funding as responses indicated it was a key barrier to people venturing from the Westgate Gardens to Toddlers Cove and vice versa.
To mitigate against graffiti damage to the mural, the Friends of Westgate Parks volunteer team have applied anti-graffiti paint to the stanchions. Project leader Anna Bell said: “The dedication of the Westgate Parks volunteer team has been exceptional and it has been fantastic to have so many members of the local community involved. Many thanks to the amazing Colette Baumback for all her hard work and creative energy.”

Before painting

Before painting

After painting

After painting

Canterbury City Council HLF